The health care situation in our country is reaching a critical point (Mailbox, July 27). Unlike other developed countries, which have not-for-profit health care, we continue to have a health care system overseen by for-profit insurance companies. These companies skim anywhere from 20 to 40 percent off the top in profits, marketing costs and huge executive salaries. We can't afford this overhead anymore. According to a new Commonwealth Fund report, we rank last among 11 industrialized countries on measures of health system quality, efficiency, access to care, equity and healthy lives. We have the highest costs and lowest performance among other developed countries.
We need a Medicare-for-all system, and California is trying to lead the way. Our California Senate passed The Healthy California Act, Senate Bill 562 (single payer, but that bill has been stalled in the Assembly.) First it was shelved, then it was sidelined into a select committee. If the Assembly was serious about this bill, the standard process would have been to first send it to the Health Committee and then to the Appropriations Committee to discuss funding. As head of the Assembly Health Committee, North Coast Assemblyman Jim Wood should care about his constituents' thoughts on the current state of health care. We can call him at 445-7014 to ask that he support allowing the bill to be heard in his Health Committee.
Suzanne Cook, McKinleyville